One week to Advisen’s Management Liability Conference in Chicago!

Join Laura Zaroski, VP of Management, Professional & Cyber Liability, Socius Insurance Services at  Advisen’s Management Liability Conference in Chicago!

Date & Venue
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
8am – 12pm CDT
Hotel Allegro, 171 W Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601

Register
Register for Advisen’s 2015 Management Liability Insights Conference in Chicago.

  • General Participant rate is $250
  • Risk Network Members may register at no charge
  • Full-time Risk Managers and Insurance Buyers may register at no charge
  • Combo Rate for both Cyber (Mon May 18) and Management Liability Conference (Tues May 19) is $600

Agenda
8:00am – 9:00am / Breakfast & Networking
9:00am – 9:10am / Opening Remarks by AJG’s Phil Norton
9:10am – 9:45am / Keynote Address by JLT’s Mike Rice
9:45am – 10:00am / The Headlines from the Executive Risk Network
10:00am – 10:45am / D&O Issues for 2015
10:45am – 11:00am / Break
11:00am – 11:45am / EPLI
11:45am – 12:30pm / Emerging Risks – Ahead to 2025
12:30pm – 1:30pm / Closing Remarks & Lunch

Questions or Comments?
Contact us via AdvisenEvents@advisen.com

Identity Theft & Cyber Insurance Seminar

IDTheftInviteMay 20th, 7:30 am – 9:30 am
JC Restoration
3200 Squibb Avenue, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
Complimentary Event!

UNDO IDENTITY THEFT IN THE WORKPLACE

What is the weakest link in your company’s cyber security? What are best practices for password management, access to protected data, social media use? How do you create a culture of cyber security in your company?

Ed Haag, Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist and George Vroustouris, Certified Identity Protection Advisor from Undo Identity Theft will answer these questions and explain how educating employees and raising awareness is your best defense against business and personal cyber risks.

WHEN BEST PRACTICES HAVE FAILED: THESE RISKS CAN BE TRANSFERRED THROUGH A CYBER INSURANCE POLICY

Your firewall or virus protection fails or your employee accidentally hits “send to all”. Can your company survive the costs of notification, forensic investigations, system damage, fines and litigation? How do you transfer these risks? What does a Cyber Insurance Policy cover? How is it underwritten?

Laura Zaroski, Vice President of Management, Professional and Cyber Liability at Socius Insurance Services will answer these questions and provide solutions and resources to protect your company.

RSVP – To reserve a spot for this event please register here.

You Can’t Wear that to Work Here! Or Can You? Accommodating Religious Attire in the Workplace

Socius Monthly Article_You can't wear that to work here!Does your company have a “look” or standard of dress they require in the workplace? No hats or maybe no beards? Can you deviate from that standard? Increasingly, employees and applicants for employment are making “failure to accommodate” claims based on grounds that they were discriminated against based upon their need for a change or exception to a workplace grooming or dress policy. Examples of religious discrimination or failure to accommodate can include, not hiring the applicant because they don’t fit the company’s “look” or placing an employee in a non-customer facing position because of religious attire or grooming (i.e., long beard, piercings, head scarf).

The Law: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et. seq., as amended, prohibits employers with at least 15 employees from discriminating in employment hiring, recruitment, promotion, benefits, training, job duties, termination or any other aspect of employment on the basis of religion. It also prohibits retaliation for complaining of religious discrimination, participating in the investigation of such claims, and from denying reasonable accommodations, including accommodations for religious attire or grooming standards. It is the EEOC’s position that an employer is required to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices, unless doing so would cause more than a minimal burden on the operations of the employer’s business.

Title VII only provides protection to sincerely held religious beliefs and practices. These protections are broadly interpreted and cover not only traditional religious beliefs, but also those that are new and uncommon. If an employee merely makes such a request for accommodation based on personal preference rather than religious belief, there are no Title VII protections or implications. However, the requirement that employers and their management learn to distinguish between these two types of requests can be daunting and dangerous in light of the litigious society we live in. Recent Case: In February 2015, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments in a case _led against Abercrombie & Fitch Co. where a Muslim applicant was rejected after wearing a head scarf (known as a hijab) to an interview based on the hiring manager’s belief that such covering violated the company’s rigid “look” policy, which forbid caps and hats. The applicant never asked for an accommodation and the employer never opened up dialog as to whether a reasonable accommodation would be necessary. Once a ruling is issued, we are hopeful that the Supreme Court will provide guidance as to when/whether an employer has any obligation to open dialog about religious accommodation without the employee or applicant making such a request.

To ensure compliance with the law, employers must be informed and vigilant when applying workplace uniform, “look” or grooming policies, particularly as they apply to employees or applicants in need of a religious accommodation. Management or hiring decision makers should be trained on how to implement religious accommodation requests, specifically, learning to identify and understand religious clothing accommodation requests, and how to properly engage in such discussion. When in doubt as to the proper handling of a religious clothing accommodation, we suggest that you contact a labor and employment lawyer before making employment related decisions. Your attorney can also be helpful in identifying potential pitfalls in uniform, look or other clothing policies. Further, a well-tailored EPL insurance policy should be purchased to mitigate potentially costly financial damage, should you be faced with a discrimination suit based upon religious dress or grooming.

This article was authored by:

Laura Zaroski, Esq., VP of Management and Professional Liability at Socius Insurance Services, a wholesale broker, located in the Chicago office. Laura can be reached at 312.382.5373 or lzaroski@sociusinsurance.com

Joseph Gagliardo, Esq., Managing Partner of Laner, Muchin, Ltd., Chicago, Illinois, a law firm concentrating in employment practices, assisted by Shelbie J. Byers. Joe can be reached at 312.467.9800 or jgagliardo@lanermuchin.com

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IDENTITY THEFT & CYBER INSURANCE SEMINAR

IDTheftInviteMay 20th, 7:30 am – 9:30 am
JC Restoration
3200 Squibb Avenue, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
Complimentary Event!

UNDO IDENTITY THEFT IN THE WORKPLACE

What is the weakest link in your company’s cyber security? What are best practices for password management, access to protected data, social media use? How do you create a culture of cyber security in your company?

Ed Haag, Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist and George Vroustouris, Certified Identity Protection Advisor from Undo Identity Theft will answer these questions and explain how educating employees and raising awareness is your best defense against business and personal cyber risks.

WHEN BEST PRACTICES HAVE FAILED: THESE RISKS CAN BE TRANSFERRED THROUGH A CYBER INSURANCE POLICY

Your firewall or virus protection fails or your employee accidentally hits “send to all”. Can your company survive the costs of notification, forensic investigations, system damage, fines and litigation? How do you transfer these risks? What does a Cyber Insurance Policy cover? How is it underwritten?

Laura Zaroski, Vice President of Management, Professional and Cyber Liability at Socius Insurance Services will answer these questions and provide solutions and resources to protect your company.

RSVP – To reserve a spot for this event please contact Alyssa Williams at awilliams@dspins.com

EEOC 2014 Trends: What is the most popular claim?

Laura Zaroski - April 15' - Whats the most popular claimLast week, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its enforcement litigation data for FY 2014. Continuing a recent trend, the EEOC reported that the percentage of charges that contained retaliation claims, reached an all-time high of 42.8% in 2014. This is significant because the elements that an employee must establish with respect to a retaliation claim are quite different than the elements in a discrimination or harassment claim. Specifically, an employee does not need to establish that its employer discriminated against or harassed him to prevail on a retaliation claim. Rather, the employee only needs to prove that the employer took action against him in response to an internal or external complaint of discrimination or harassment that may deter the employee and/or others from lodging similar complaints in the future. This highlights the fact that preventing retaliation is just as important as promptly addressing workplace complaints of discrimination or harassment. A breakdown of all charges filed with the EEOC is as follows:

  • Retaliation – 42.8% percent of all charges filed
  • Race (including racial harassment) – 35%
  • Sex (including pregnancy and sexual harassment): 29.3%
  • Disability – 28.6%
  • Age – 23.2%
  • National Origin – 10.8%
  • Religion – 4%
  • Color – 3.1%
  • Equal Pay Act – 1.1% (but note that sex-based wage discrimination can also be charged under Title VII’s sex discrimination provision)
  • Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act – 0.4%

In fiscal year 2014, the EEOC obtained $296.1 million in total monetary relief through its enforcement program for cases that were settled prior to the ling of litigation. Monetary relief from cases litigated, including settlements, totaled $22.5 million.

From a risk management perspective, the aggressive investigations and litigation _led by the EEOC only emphasizes the need for employers to faithfully obey what we kindly refer to as Socius’ “Three Cardinal Rules of Employment Practices Risk Management”: (1) continually update employment practices with a proactive approach (i.e. adapt personnel policies to always be current with the EEOC’s strategic initiatives, litigation trends and new statutes). (2) Keep all management and supervisory personnel thoroughly and continually trained (this ensures a smooth implementation of procedures and education of management’s pre-agreed strategies to respond to retaliation, harassment and other employment- related allegations), and (3) further mitigate this risk through the purchase of a robust Employment Practices Liability (“EPL”) insurance policy.

Written by Laura Zaroski, J.D., Socius Insurance Services.

www.sociusinsurance.com

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The EPL Battle: Plaintiffs vs. Carriers – Who Comes Out Ahead?

CaptureCome join Laura Zaroski and Cynthia Zimmerman of Socius Insurance speak on the EPL battle – Plaintiffs vs. Carriers.

When : Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Where: Marriott Fort Lauderdale North, 6650 North Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

Cost: Members – $25, Non-Members – $35

For more information, please visit www.plusweb.org.
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